Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Home from China...A Few Things I Will Miss and Several I will Not

It's good to be home. I'm so glad we were able to go to Beijing, but I became infected with some sort of stomach virus or parasite soon after we arrived and suffered silently (I'm sure Brandon would say otherwise) until getting home. Which brings me to something I will not miss about China: Let me just say that using the hole-in-the-floor toilets when you have traveler's diarrhea or possibly giardiasis is NOT fun. Extremely uncomfortable. See picture. No wonder the Chinese have such amazing Achilles tendons.

I will miss the 3-RMB breakfast Rachel and I would buy on the way to school. It consisted of purple sticky rice surrounding spinach (possibly), orange-powder vegetable, some other unknowns, and crunchy toast-chip things.

I will miss dan bin--the spicy egg dish Rachel and I would buy for lunch sometimes at the University.

I will not miss cafeteria lunches. Or the fatty pork delicacy.

I will not miss the constant staring.

I will not miss the lack of toilet paper in the bathrooms. Or often the lack of soap. Basically, I dislike everything about bathrooms in China.

I will miss nightly chats on AOL with Brandon. Yeah, yeah, we can call each other or even SEE each other here, but I liked the live writing. Felt like old times (we used to chat online freshman year of college when I had a crush on him...8 years ago).

I will miss Rachel.

I will miss cooking lessons with Huang Biao.

I will miss the everyday adventure of China. I think being constantly challenged by living in a foreign country is refreshing. A great way to reset perspective.

But I will not miss the stress that goes along with that.

I will not miss the language barrier, or hearing the word in Chinese that is equivalent to our "um" in conversation. It sounds very much like a racial slur. THE racial slur. The N* word. Believe it.

I will not miss the lack of diversity.

I will miss riding the metro. Why don't more U.S. cities have those?

I will not miss the scorching heat.

I will miss the kids. Possibly even being the teacher.

1 comment:

wren said...

From my time in Bolivia, I have a five-star rating system on bathrooms. It goes like this: one star for each essential. The five stars are--
-toilet (seat is a bonus)
-toilet paper
-sink with water
-something to dry hands
Mirrors and cleanliness are superfluous. We usually sent someone to scout out the loo and come back with the rating. It worked well. Usually someone would have one of the portable stars with them if missing... ;)